East Africans in Sweden Have a High Risk for Type 1 Diabetes

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To investigate the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children with an origin in Sub-Saharan Africa in Sweden.


Nationwide register study based on retrieved prescriptions of insulin during 2009 in children aged 0–18 years. The study population consisted of 35,756 children in families with an origin in Sub-Saharan Africa and 1,666,051 children with native Swedish parents.


The odds ratio (OR) for insulin medication in Swedish-born children in families originating in East Africa was 1.29 (95% CI 1.02–1.63) compared with offspring of native Swedish parents, after adjustment for age and sex, and less common in children who themselves were born in East Africa: 0.50 (0.34–0.73). Offspring of parents from other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa had a comparatively low risk for insulin medication.


This study indicates that Swedish-born children with an origin in East Africa have a high risk of type 1 diabetes.

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